Wednesday, February 9, 2011

On Being a Closet Rapper

Story #1:
I have gone through quite a few music stages in the past few years. In high school I was into slow and depressing emo music, in college I ONLY listened to country music, and now that I live in Cali I have been on a huge pop music kick. (I blame Bieber... and Katy Perry for having such catchy lyrics like "boom boom boom, even brighter than the moon moon moon." COME ON! ). I have done something recently that I never thought I would; I have become a huge rap music fan. I don't make this too well known, but while I am at work I definitely listen to some hardcore rap tunes (when I am not listening to the Biebs, Yo Yo Ma, or Mary Poppins, of course).

I made myself a pop music CD to listen to in the car on my commute to work every morning. My commute to work is about 7 minutes long; just enough time for two songs for me to sing (or rap) to. The other day I was so proud of myself because I realized on the way to work that I knew every single word to Kid Cudi's song "Pursuit of Happiness." While waiting at a traffic light I got a little carried away during my favorite part:

"I don’t care, hand on the wheel, drivin drunk I’m doin my thing
rollin the midwest side and out livin my life getting out dreams
people told me slow my road I’m screaming out F*** THAT!!!!!!
Imma do just what I want lookin ahead no turnin back!"

(sidenote... I am extremely against drunk driving, even though I rapped about it!)

and screamed the lyrics as loud as I could into my steering wheel. Now I very rarely say the F word in normal conversation. I rarely curse at all for that matter (actually cursing less was one of my new years resolutions this year.) So the fact that I screamed the F word so loudly kind of startled me. I removed myself for a minute from my rap induced trance and looked out of my driver's side window. To my complete embarrassment, I noticed that the man in the car next to me had been staring at me and started laughing right when we made eye contact. I was so mortified that my face started getting hot. Thank goodness I had sunglasses on so at least part of my face was covered. Double thank goodness that huge sunglasses are in style. I just wanted to roll the window down and yell to him "I am sorry you had to witness that so early in the morning sir! I don't even like rap songs normally! It's a new phase and it's freaking me out too!!!!"

Story #2:
I began working in 2008 upon graduation from college. With my first tax return in 2009 I took my money and gave back to the tiny economy in my tiny socal beach town and bought a guitar from a tiny mom and pop guitar shop. I tried to teach myself how to play for about a year because my older brother who is good at everything in the world was able to teach himself in college. Well I guess I just don't have the same diligence as him because I just wasn't getting it. I couldn't change chords. I couldn't understand how to read the tabs. I was having a tough time. So last summer I began private guitar lessons at that same mom and pop shop where I bought the guitar. I took the lessons for about 3 months and learned a lot of the basics which was just what I needed to be able to learn whatever songs I wanted to. I learned chord changes, how to read music, and I now know a large library of chords.

I try to learn new songs every now and then. I have not truly mastered singing and playing simultaneously, so when Nick works late and I am home alone I try to practice my singing. Singing and playing together is very hard by the way. The other day I got the idea to look up guitar chords to one of my new fave pop songs, Kid Cudi's "Pursuit of Happiness." Luckily for myself, and for any neighbors who happen to hear my concerts from our thin windows, the chords were all chords that I know. The chord progression was easy and the rhythm of the lyrics with the chords was almost identical so I was able to sing (rap, actually) while I played.

I did a run through of the song about three times and got better and quicker each time. I could play the entire song all the way through while singing... a first for me. During my favorite part of the song:

"I don’t care, hand on the wheel, drivin drunk I’m doin my thing
rollin the midwest side and out livin my life getting out dreams
people told me slow my road I’m screaming out F*** THAT!!!!!!
Imma do just what I want lookin ahead no turnin back!"

Nick happen to come home. He paused as he stood in the doorway with his key's still in the lock and was shocked to hear me
a. just scream the F word
b. singing and playing guitar at the same time
c. realizing my inner and new found love for rap music

After a laugh, I played him the entire song again and he realized how proud I was at myself that he couldn't even bring himself to make too much fun of me (although he may be thinking about jumping ship before we get married due to my continual weirdness). Before this he had only heard me attempt to play and sing the sweet and humble country song "Wagon Wheel." A far cry from Kid Cudi.

Highlight the text after the star to reveal which story is true * The true story is story number 2. It is a fact that I have a new love for Kid Cudi. Also, I can play a pretty fantastic rendition of Pursuit of Happiness on my guitar.

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